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Blue water, white sails and friends.  Clear Lake at it's finest!
29th May


Crow’s Nest 05/30/24

Item number one on the agenda this week…It’s time to party!  Saturday, June 1st beginning around 6:30 or so, will be our first social event of the year; put on your best party attire, or don’t, either way is great! Brian Tisor, the attire theme is “Something that can don a nametag” just in case you need something official. The name of the game is to show up and have a great time with your old friends AND our new friends!  22 NEW MEMBERS (family or otherwise) who are hereby cordially invited to PLEASE join us Saturday evening! The Social Members are in charge of bringing their always amazing delectable delights; wine and beer will be on site as well as soft drinks and water.

In addition to fantastic food, libations and fun at the party will be a few equally important items; first the yearbooks will be on site, please pick yours up and enjoy, they’re fantastic as always! This year’s edition is a collectors item as it has a small error in it (You can blame the Flag Officers for this one)… The date for the Trophy Dinner is listed as Monday, Sept. 2nd; the CORRECT date is Sunday, September 1st.  Whoooops… No worries though, I’ll remind you when it gets closer.

Second, some trophies from 2023 are still in Mark Tesar’s possession… He has plenty of his own, he doesn’t need yours!  Mark will have them at the party on Saturday, if you didn’t get yours in 2023, please grab them!

Lastly, but certainly most importantly, a volunteer signup for the ILYA Championship will be front and center.  Julie Oltrogge, the “Queen of Volunteers”, will be on site to answer any questions and if needed, you can be “Voluntold” your position for the Championship.

Well there it was…The weekend where the fun begins here in Clear Lake; it’s also the weekend you find out which knots you forgot to tie, which shackle was loose and whether your foul weather gear is still waterproof! The archetype of Memorial Day weekends…Chilly, periods of rain then some sun, windy then light breeze, throw in malfunctioning tornado sirens for good measure! All of this typically keeps the fleet sizes somewhat smaller and Memorial Day 2024 was no exception.

While numerous X boats made it off the dock and intended to race on Saturday, the conditions, which were intimidating, led to some younger X boaters heading back to the dock; their time will come when it’s not so intimidating. A couple teams did remain out racing Saturday and had a blast in the raucous wind and waves.  Jude Sorensen, who loves the big air and Charlotte Tisor, who wasn’t going to sit back and let Jude run away. In the end it was Jude who took the race one win, but sheer guts and determination is more of what it was about; traits exuded by both teams!

Race one in the MC fleet was led from start to finish by reigning Fleet Champion Stu Oltrogge with crew Deb Tesar.  When it comes to the wind and waves, they really excel! Todd Tesar was second with Mark Tesar in third, Emily Haugerud and Eric Protzman rounded out the top 5. Now in that first race comes our first public Blooper Nomination… The largest fleet, a fleet with some of the most seasoned sailors, the MC fleet… It seems they don’t like to check the course board and see that the lone M15 got the first spot in the starting sequence.  During the M15 start, everyone in the MC fleet lined up AND started (with the exception of Mark Tesar) during the M15 start.  They were called back and started correctly with their own sequence.  Blooper worthy??? It’s a start!

Saturday afternoon brought debate and peer pressure to the forefront right away this year!  While debating to sail in the cold and somewhat windy conditions, some wanted to stay home, others wanted to hit the water, others were on the fence.  In the end, the four debating teams hit the water and two great races were run!  Shaking off the rust the best was Mark Tesar in Z-13 taking bullets in both races, followed closely by last year’s Champion Emily Haugerud and the Z-23 team.

Skepticism filled many of the sailors Sunday morning; after watching rain go through overnight and waking to an Easterly breeze, most thought the morning would be abandoned…But not so fast…As he always does, Charlie put together two good races in VERY difficult conditions and kept us on schedule with our races!  The MC’s started first; this time they didn’t have an M15 to confuse them!  Right off the pin end of the line Dan Allen shot out to a lead and didn’t look back, taking the bullet in the first race.  Second was Eric Protzman, followed by Stu Oltrogge, Stu Schurtz and Emily Haugerud.

The second race in the MC fleet was more of the same with Dan Allen jumping out to an early lead.  Emily Haugerud had other ideas in mind, playing the shifts and streaky breeze beautifully up the last beat!  Emily held on to win, Dan Allen was second, Todd Tesar third, Stu Schurtz and Stu Oltrogge rounded out the top 5.  Challenge – would someone come up with nicknames for the Stu’s, please!!!!! Welcome to the two new MC fleet members who raced this weekend; Stu Schurtz had an impressive first weekend in the MC, he was always in the mix and making his presence known.  Leif Lundberg came out Sunday morning and was in the mix as well, not intimidated in the least by the veteran fleet! It’s going to be a great year of MC racing!

Jude Soresen showed he can race in light air just as well as heavy air.  Despite the challenging conditions, the four competing X boats made a valiant effort and kept their wits about them.  Avery Tidrick in just her second year as a skipper finished second in both races.  Thea Sorensen, a first year skipper came out and took two third places, Charlotte Tisor finished fourth.

The Memorial Day Regatta results are as follows:

X Boat Fleet MC Fleet E Fleet
1st – Z-7 Jude Sorensen 1st – 2842 Stu Oltrogge 1st – Z-13 Mark Tesar
2nd – Z-4 Avery Tidrick 2nd – 2340 Emily Haugerud 2nd – Z-23 Emily Haugerud
3rd – Z-24 Charlotte Tisor 3rd – 2790 Todd Tesar 3rd – Z-16 Jake Sorensen
4th – Z-15 Thea Sorensen 4th – 2410 Stu Schurtz 4th – Z-94 Eric Protzman
5th – 2569 Eric Protzman

What fun is the beginning of the season without a few speculative story lines: 2024 starts out with questions of whether defending champs can start well and repeat their previous successes!

Last year’s Fleet Champs are all on notice; your competitors are hungry and gunning for you.

In the E fleet the Haugerud/Oltrogge team has won 4 consecutive Championships; each year has been tight at the end, can Mark Tesar win again?  Can Brad Price and team break through for their first Championship?  Maybe a sleeper from the rest of the fleet takes home the coveted Silver!?

Stu Oltrogge won the MC fleet last year, ending Mark Tesar’s reign…..Did you know with the exception of one year (2012- Jeff Nicholas) Stu or Mark has won the MC Fleet Championship every year since 2006???  Now boasting 21 boats in the fleet, can the pecking order be shuffled?!

An expansion in the C fleet brings renewed energy and the possibility of a Fleet Champion who has sailed more than one race!!!! Can either of the two “Newbies” beat the old boys who have proven themselves time and time again?

New talent and rising stars could prove lethal in Melges 15; Dave Atkinson won the Championship in 2023 over Riley Cooney but the ever-improving Brad and Mary Thompson were right there as well.  Sprinkle in Ashley Stokke, an improving Wil Finstad and two new teams out of the X fleet and we have some excitement to watch for!

This year a new Champion will be crowned in the X boat fleet.  Leif Lundberg and Elle Ebeling, the last two Fleet Champs are off to other fleets; that leaves 9 X boats to fight out for the next Championship title.

Come on out, watch the races and drama unfold this summer; bring your friends along too!  Let’s get as many people involved in the great fun as possible!

The Sailing Center opens for instruction on Monday; many of the sessions are filling up quickly!  If you, your child, or anyone you know would like to register, please lead them here –  Generations of Clear Lake sailors have learned, taught and served in many capacities at the Sailing Center; our Instructors and Board Members are ready to continue that tradition in 2024!

And now a bit of history and a fun little game:  Below is a quote from the Crows Nest on 6/1/1978!!!  The first person, at the party on Saturday, who can tell the number of boats that reportedly tipped over, gets a prize of extraordinary value, a timeless heirloom to be passed down through the family!

6/1/78 WOW! What a blow – Yes, those Injuns sure were giving us grief this weekend…Talk about no fear – the C’s and M’s raced right into the storm…it was tip over city. All the E’s went over, and (##) of boats tipped according to an undocumented count.

See you on the water and at the party Saturday! Until then…

Stay in the Clear Air

Dan Allen
MC 2811 – Relentless


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